Last week I received a sweet email from HR. Something about “open enrollment.” Honestly I only skim through work emails on my Blackberry since most of the work related emails I get are random “the phones are down” or “the phones are back up” administrative nonsense. I put up with it since I get $25/month for registering my phone with the corporate exchange server and it enables me to get a discounted data plan through Verizon. Don’t ask me how, I just took it and ran. But back to the point: Open Enrollment. Exciting times for the Human Resourcefully inclined. And what has two thumbs and is equally excited for the open enrollment period at work? (points to self, conveniently with thumbs) This Guy.
Previously on A Consequence of Hypoglycemia, I ran out of money on my FSA Account. I was devastated. Mainly because I would officially be paying out of pocket for my medication and doctor appointments for the rest of the year. I know technically FSA funds are out of pocket, it’s a tax free goodie-bag that I can use for appropriate expenditures. But that’s money that is already set aside, I can’t miss money I’m not seeing in the first place. Once the well ran dry, the rules changed.
Now comes the time to rethink the money I set aside for my yearly “Get Well” card. The tricky part is trying not to overestimate by too much while being careful to account for the random sickness that may or may not overwhelm your immune system. In my case it’s less of a guessing game since I know that I will have a lot of prescriptions to refill over the course of a year. Because Diabetes is that awesome.
Last year I didn’t properly account for the cost of test strips to keep Bart Allen up and running. Those little bastards are expensive. My co-pay for prescriptions is $40. Yet by Odin’s will, Test Strips are exempt from ordinary. My first official refill of FreeStyle Test Strips was $86. Yikes. 2 months later, after being a good Diabetic and regularly checking my blood sugar it was time to reload, this time they were $90.21. Exqueeze me? 3 months later the refill was still $90.21 but there was no notification of an increase on my co-pay for this item. I’ve tried calling *insurance company redacted* for an explanation but they suck. It feels like they are the mafia.
Oh, well the price went up.
It did. You want protection or not?
I tend to go with the flow with managing my Diabetes. I keep a fairly regular routine both food-ily and exercise-ily to maintain a solid balance. Whatever “normal” is, that’s what I’m aiming for. Curveballs like insanely priced test strips caught me off guard this year, however this will not be the case next year. So how much money should I set aside to pay Wilford’s Bookies?
Prescriptions this year have cost $586.42 thus far. Appointments with Dr. Not House are $30 a pop. It looks like Not House is content with 6 month visits since I’m being a good Diabetic so that’s $60 total. $646.42. I know I’ll have to renew at least my Humalog before the year is up, so that’s another $40 ($686.42), I might be cutting it close with Synthroid, so that’s another $40 ($726.42). I’m not including dentist, regular checkups or the potential (and slightly inevitable) trip(s) to an optometrist. I hear eyes are among the other organs to be at risk for fun when Wilford comes to play /sarcasm. Taking into account possible variables the next year will bring but being cognizant that it’s better to underestimate than overestimate in the grand scheme of things, $800 feels like a nice round number.
Now I know you just read all those random-ish numbers detailing the cost of staying healthy, and a great deal of that comes from my prescriptions. I use a mail order service to handle all my drugs. Their website has a clean enough interface that it’s easy to renew and manage my prescriptions. And it’s safer to go through a 3rd party when you’re trafficking drugs across state lines. Of course I should really call this an “online” service since it isn’t available like the rest of the internet, 24/7. And I quote:
The online self-service feature you have requested is unavailable at this time. Our regular system operating hours are Monday through Friday from 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
I may have ranted about this before, but it deserves another round. I’m sorry, but this is not an online service. Do they turn off their servers on the weekends? Do they unplug their data cables? I understand if orders can only be processed during regular business hours, but why can’t I fill a prescription overnight and have it queued up and ready to be processed during the day? Why can’t I check to see how much money I’ve spent on prescriptions any time I want? Seriously, you suck. Thankfully I have learned to keep all of my receipts since *insurance company redacted* likes to request completed substantiation forms for prescriptions at irregular times. You’d think a purchase with the tag “Insulin” would be a no-brainer for a proper medical purchase, but what do I know?
Anywho, that’s my rant for the day.
And for those of you eager viewers, I haven’t forgotten about the youtubes. I like to think that the camera should only be used for the particularly juicy moments, I don’t want to over-saturate your senses. But things are in the mix, so stay tuned.